- Museum number
Gold medal. (whole)
Shakespeare seated on a rock flanked by the Dramatic Muse and the Genius of Painting. The base of the rock is inscribed. (obverse)
Inscription. Above, within rays, a harp with olive branch on scroll. (reverse)
- Production date
Diameter: 48.000 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Brown 1980 states:
John Boydell (1719-1804), engraver, studied at the St Martin's Lane Academy and c. 1751 set up as a printseller and publisher of engravings. He commissioned well-known artists to paint pictures to illustrate Shakespeare's works, most of which were contained in the nine folio volumes in 1802. He built the Shakespeare Gallery in Pall Mall for their exhibition. Josiah Boydell (1752-1817), painter and engraver, was a nephew of John Boydell and was his partner and successor in the engraving business. George and William Nicol were booksellers in London.
There are gold and silver examples of this medal in the British Museum, that in gold having been presented to George III. The name of the recipient is engraved on the edge of the medal whilst others are inscribed in impressed capitals: STRUCK IN THE MINT OF M . BOULTON. The flans vary slightly in thickness. There is a trial striking of the obverse die in bronzed lead in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Because of delays in striking the medals they were not available to subscribers until 1805.
The obverse type reproduces the group sculptured in 1789 by Thomas Banks. See J. G. Pollard, Matthew Boulton and Conrad Heinrich Küchler, 'Numismatic Chronicle', 1970, pp. 297-99, No. 28 and pp. 314-316.
Bibliography: Hawkins, E.; Franks, A. W. and Grueber, H. A. 'Medallic Illustrations of the History of Great Britain and Ireland to the death of George II', 2 vols. Text, London 1885; reprinted 1969, 209/45; Parkes Weber, F. Medals and Medallions of the nineteenth century, relating to England, by foreign artists, 'Numismatic Chronicle', 3rd series, vols. XIII and XIV, London, 1894, 123.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2012 19 April - 25 November, Gallery 69a, British Museum, Crowns and Ducats: Shakespeare's Money and Medals
2009/10 May-May, Birmingham, Barber Institute, Matthew Boulton & the Art of Making Money
- Associated events
- Commemoration of: National Edition of Shakespeare's Works Published, 1803
- Acquisition date
- Coins and Medals
- Registration number
- C&M catalogue number
MB3 (Brown 1) (135) (553)